“Galvanized Yankees” as one classification of Southern Unionists?

I have thought about it, and I believe that “Galvanized Yankees” (Confederate POWs who took the Oath of Allegiance and joined the Union army, usually serving in the United States Volunteer regiments) may be listed among the categorizations of Southern Unionists. Some may argue that these men joined the Union army under duress, and I would agree that some, perhaps many, did this to get out of the conditions they faced in the prison camps. However, if they did good service as “Galvanized Yankees” might they not, to some degree, be considered Southern Unionists? It might be stretching it a little, but, what about those who later applied for pensions from the U.S. government for services rendered as “Galvanized Yankees?” They would have been required to present proof that they did not voluntarily bear arms against the United States during their service as Confederate soldiers. If this proof was satisfactory to the U.S. pension officials, then, perhaps the men who applied for pensions were Unionists (or some of them just got one over on the U.S. government and secured evidence in order to secure funds in hard times). Because of this, I will be adding some “Galvanized Yankees” to the stories of Southern Unionists; at least those who, through pension records, were able to obtain pensions for having provided acceptable evidence of not having borne arms voluntarily against the United States.


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